My kids used to have chores. Every morning before school they had to complete a few items on a checklist that hung in the hall outside their bedrooms. None of the chores took more than 10 minutes to finish and they were all age appropriate.
When we moved, we somehow didn’t bring that chore-habit with us. My kids are busier now than they used to be, but so am I. And so is Matt. And things that need to get done aren’t. So we’re bringing back chores, baby.
My kids are thrilled.
We do not pay for chores in this house. I feel like there are certain things the kids have to do just because they live here, and they don’t deserve payment for keeping their own spaces neat and pitching in a bit. I also feel like it’s important that they learn HOW to do these things before they move out on their own. And once they have their own homes, they certainly won’t be getting paid to do their own laundry and vacuum their own floors, so why should they be now?
We do, however, offer a set monetary incentive for certain tasks that go above and beyond IF they are done without having to be told to them. For example, if the kids fill a kindling basket with sticks from the yard, I will give them $1 per full basket. If however, I am trying to make a fire in the fireplace and there is no kindling and I have to send a kid out to fill a basket, I don’t pay them for that.
I’m a mean mom.
This is a great chart that helps me think of chores to assign that are age appropriate.
In order to make this as simple as possible, I’m planning to assign a single chore to each child to do in the morning before school — we really do have enough time for them to knock out a ten-minute task, and that will help me not feel overwhelmed with what needs to be done. Because somehow writing these things down makes them more official, and because there’s no way I can keep track of that all in my head, and because we have to have some accountability to make sure people are following through, I will make up a chart showing each child’s five weekly chores. And I will hang it on the wall outside the bedrooms. Then no one can say they didn’t know what they were supposed to do.
The kids may not be thrilled, but I am less than concerned. Chores build character. I don’t love cleaning toilets either, but it has to get done, and maybe having to do it will help the kids be more thoughtful about not leaving a mess behind them when they leave a room.
Do your kids do chores? How do you assign them and do you pay them?
Also, here’s another way we’ve handled chores in the past that I really loved!